tv State of the Union With John King CNN August 30, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EDT
well. police now searching the neighboring property of phillip and nancy garrido, the couple charged with abducting a girl in 1991. she was discovered alive this past week. investigators are looking for evidence linking the couple to other open cases in the area. but john king starts right now with "state of the union." i'm john king, and this is "state of the union." the lion of the senate is laid to rest. thousands of mourners turn out to pay their respects to senator edward kennedy. a man who fought passionately and pragmatically in the senate for nearly half a century. >> john fitzgerald kennedy inspired our america. robert kennedy challenged our america. and our teddy changed america. >> people have called teddy and me the odd couple, which was certainly true.
>> two of senator kennedy's closest friends, orrin hatch of utah and chris dodd of connecticut share their personal memories. plus maria cantwell. and in our american dispatch, the kennedy connection to boston sports dynasty. i talked to the president and ceo of the red sox larry lucchino. this is our state of the union report. a champion for those who had none. a man who never stopped trying to right wrongs, and someone who wasn't perfect, but believed in redemption. just a few of the sentiments expressed at the funeral of senator edward kennedy in boston yesterday. president obama led the nation in saying good-bye to the 77-year-old senator who was laid to rest by his brothers at arlington national cemetery. here with reflections on his life, two of his closest colleagues, orrin hatch and
christopher dodd of connecticut who joins us by telephone. and senator dodd, let me begin with you. you and senator hatch had the great privilege of eulogizing your friend at the memorial service friday night. you waved as you pulled up. i saw you were still scribbling notes and edits on your speech. talk about the moment, you've given so many speeches in your life. what made this one unique? >> well, john, first of all, thanks for doing this. what makes it so difficult, it's so personal. how do you express in eight or ten minutes, i tried to keep it brief. and how do you capture 30 years of friendship in eight minutes? and someone who the relationship goes far beyond just the personal. i sat next to him for almost 25 years in that health education labor committee, we were partners in policy, great friends personally, got to know his children, his family, and so trying to capture all of that in a sense is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. >> and so senator hatch, as you
put this together, what did you have to leave out about your friend? >> well, there were a lot of things i left out because you only had so much time. but it was a privilege to be able to be there and be with vicky and the family. i was there when, you know, he called me out in california to tell me he was going to marry vicky. and the only reason he called me then, i asked him why are you doing this? because i was in a middle of a great big speech. and he said well, her young daughter was in grade school and bragging to the teacher that her mother was going to marry ted kennedy and the teacher was married to a press reporter so he wanted to tell me before it appeared in the post. and we had that kind of a friendship. we were called the odd couple, conservative, and he was the leading liberal champion in the senate. and we used to get into some tremendous rouse, but in the end, we were able to put together some of the most important bills in history. >> and senator dodd, if you read the op ed pages and have conversations with people who cover politics, the word soul
comes up a lot. saying the democratic party has lost its soul. do you agree with that assessment? and if that's the case, how does one replace the soul. >> well, no, you don't lose your soul. and teddy would be the first to say so. when he gave that incredible eulogy at his brother bobby -- look he was pragmatic and practical, he believed in the fundamental principles of the democratic party, also had a strong pragmatic sense you move forward. and obviously we've lost a great champion in all of this. but he'd be annoyed if he thought democrats were somehow going to retreat here as the party of his choice back because he no longer with us. he'd expect us to get up this morning, get battling, sit down with our friends on the other side and try to work things out respecting each other, that's what the senate is all about and get the job done. we don't have a luxury here of sitting back andgaging and
wallowing in our own grief. his likability, people liked him, but also his ability to overcome adversity. you heard president obama yesterday talk about it. what he'd been through, 16 by the time he last two siblings, two brothers taken with great violence, been through his own personal difficulties, but he got up after every single one of those challenges and went back to work and decided given so much time in this life to the very best you can. and so we haven't lost our soul at all, in fact, it's been enhanced by his presence, and by invoking his memory these days, we'll do a better job. we've got to roll up our sleeves and go to work and do what teddy would've done and get this health care matter behind us. >> and as we look to see what comes next. senator hatch, they say it is increasingly likely the legislature will change the law and allow the governor to make an interim appointment before the special election. if there is that opportunity for an interim appointment, three or
four months, an opportunity for a senator to cast teddy's last vote, she has said no, vicky has said no, but if that opens, would you call her up and say would you consider this? >> sure, i think she ought to be considered. very brilliant lawyer, solid individual, she certainly made a difference in ted's life, let me tell you. and i have nothing but great respect for her. you know, it's interesting to be on with senator dodd who i think senator kennedy's greatest democrat friend. i consider myself his best republican friend. and chris and i -- we have been able to work together as teddy and i used to work together. but it's going to take a lot of work because, you know, many of the so-called progressives in the democratic party are insisting on this public or washington government-run plan. and the vast majority of people out there in the public, they don't want that, they're scared to death knowing that medicare is $38 trillion in unfunded liability as we sit here and
that in order to get that public plan in pay for it, they're going to take $400 million to $500 million out of medicare, that's crazy. and so a lot of people are concerned about what's going on in washington right now, especially in health care, and you can see there are people from all walks of life. it isn't just people who don't like democrats from all walks of life. >> senator dodd, we're going to talk more about the policy of health care when we move on, but in the question of vikki kennedy. you know her very well, you had dinner up there. one of the few people who saw the senator in the final weeks. if the interim appointment becomes a reality, would you call her up and say reconsider? you could come and cast your husband's final votes? >> well, we talked frequently, and you know, whenever vicky wants to do, i'm in her corner, she knows that. and she's expressed to me her own reluctance to do that, but she could change her mind, and if she did, i'm for it. i think she'd be great. i think she brings talent and ability to it and fill that spot
i think is something the people of massachusetts would welcome. we could use her in the senate. but i leave that up to her. she's got a lot on her mind. i know talking with her children and talking with teddy and kara and patrick and others, they'll come to the right decision, whatever she thinks is best, i'm for. >> senator dodd, you are on the ballot next year and at this point, it is still early, looks like you may have a tough race on your hand. and among your allies is now your late friend. he produced, part of an ad for your campaign. and we want to share it with our viewers. >> quality health care is a fundamental right for all americans has been the cause of my life. and chris dodd has been my closest ally in this fight. today more than ever, we have a real opportunity to bring health care reform to connecticut and all across america. and i believe that with chris dodd's leadership, our families will finally have accessible, affordable health care. i'm chris dodd and i approve
this message. >> it's striking to watch that in the context of the events of the past few days, senator, but it's a powerful appeal from your friend, senator kennedy. will you continue to run that ad as you seek reelection in connecticut? >> i don't know, john. thanks for running it, i haven't heard it in a while. i don't know. we're not talking about that today. this is a time to talk about teddy, remember him and his contribution. what we need to do to get back on track again. >> we're going to lose you senator, and senator hatch is staying with us. to his point that despite the death of senator kennedy that doesn't change the math and all of these concerns about the public option. do you agree with him you'll come back to work and try to work on this in a bipartisan basis? but there's no in terms of for or against? >> is that for me, john? >> yeah. >> we need to sit down and work through this and that's what we do in the senate, that's how things move forward. that's what orrin hatch and i did years ago on childhood
legislation. every bill i can think of any major significance, people sit down and work it out. this idea of negotiating this through a series of town hall meetings in august is not how i was raised to understand the point of other senate functions. we'll get back next week with leadership of the president and people who want to sit down and move forward. the country cannot afford this any longer. we need to have a health care plan in this country that's accessible, affordable, and quality. and how we get there is the challenge before us. and we must meet that challenge. that's what ted cared so deeply about. introduced that first health care universal bill 40 years ago. and he would be terribly disappointed if we allowed partisan politics to dominate this debate. he expected more of us, and i think we ought to meet that expectation of his and i'm confident we can. >> thanks for being with us this morning. senator kennedy called it the cause of his life. will this debate give way to his spirit of bipartisanship.
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he said, orrin, what else did i agree to last night? i tried telling these things, my eyes start to water, my nose starts to run, it's a mess i tell you. >> we're back with orrin hatch you saw right there, and joining us is maria cantwell of washington state. senator hatch, that was part of your tribute to senator kennedy
and you were talking about a deal you cut with him late one night after perhaps an extra drink or two. you came to washington, you talked about in your speech, you wrote a campaign saying send me to washington to fight teddy kennedy. when was it that you said this guy isn't exactly what i thought? >> when we both lived up to it, we fought each other all the time. but he was willing to compromise, willing to come to the center. but in many times it was center right. but there were certain things he wouldn't compromise on no matter what you did. and we fought battles. it was a privilege to serve with him. he was a great senator, a leading democrat, leading liberal in the congress, and probably over the last 50 years, the leading liberal in the congress and i had to take that into consideration, you had to take into consideration my conservative politics, as well. >> if you look, senator cantwell, you're a more junior member of the senate. but if you look at your entry, it says this, as a child
cantwell observed politics firsthand as her father dispensed advice to politicians who stopped by to talk politics, during her stent as an aide to andrew jacobs, she woke one morning to the laughter of ted kennedy downstairs. take us back. >> that's right, during his brother's presidential campaign, he came to my house, as a young girl, to thank everybody who had been participating and campaigning on behalf of his brother. and literally i didn't believe he was in our house and went to school the next day and everybody at the catholic school i went to was talking about how ted kennedy had come to the cantwell home. so it was a great honor. >> and when you come to the united states senate and someone has a reputation like him, is he a mentor? what's he like? >> he's absolutely a mentor. and he was so skilled, he knew every vote. if you had an amendment on the floor, he would say to you, well, you got 48 votes, next time you're going to get 52.
so keep at it. i remember once he told me, we were working on unemployment insurance in our state washington had high unemployment at that time. he said go over there and talk to arlen specter and here's what he'll do, and he'll keep that in conference, so go ahead and cut that deal. always a mentor, always looking out for how to get legislation passed and that was the great story of ted kennedy among other things. he was a fantastic legislator. >> and so his voice has been missing this past year and past few months from the issue he cared most about, the debate about health care reform. and we've all heard in the eulogies and the reflection on will it be different? the president's point person on this issue is the health and human service secretary kathleen sebelius. she put it this way. >> the best possible legacy is to pass health reform this year and have a bill that president obama could sign. and hopefully at every step along the way they'll ask themselves what would teddy do? >> so let's pose the question.
what would teddy do? and i want to start with you senator cantwell. this is largely a disagreement among the democrats. in the house you have a liberal bill with the public option, the speaker has said the public option has to be there. a public run government competition plan to compete with the private insurance. in the senate, the votes simply aren't there. and if senator kennedy did anything, he knew how to count the votes. what would teddy do? would he go to the kent conrads, the conservative democrats and say, look, get in line, be a good democrat, vote for the public option, or would he walk across the speaker and say i'm with you, but the votes aren't there. it's your turn to compromise, where is the compromise within the democrats? >> that was the magic of senator kennedy because he had the faith of the party loyalists and they knew he would fight for them. so when he went across the aisle to cut a deal like he did with orrin hatch, people knew that
was the best deal that could be cut. but i think right now we still need to have this debate about the high cost of health care. and what everybody in america wants to know is what rewe going to do to control the cost? but those who have insurance want to know about what republicans and democrats are going to do to keep costs down. because premiums going up another 10% is unbelievable. >> can that wait? >> i would say to my republican colleagues that when you think about how you control costs and you think about what a public option can do in controlling costs, it's a very key component to it. right now there's insurance across the country where in a couple of states you only have one or two insurance providers. or they might have as much as 50% of the market. so if you want to get costs down and reform the system, then deliver health care at what it takes to deliver that health care cost. and both senator hatch and i come from states that are very efficient health care states.
we provide good health care delivery with good outcomes at very low costs and that's what i'd like to see the rest of the country to move to. >> is there any chance despite the passing of your friend. is there any chance that a bill with a public option is going to pass the united states senate? >> i really don't think so. let me tell you. you know, you're talking about 1/6 of the american economy. and a lot of people don't seem to realize that. and you're talking about having the federal government take control of health care when medicare's $38 trillion in unfunded liability. and going higher. when you're going to triple -- you're going to triple it will budget deficit in ten years, double it in five years or even less. and when they talk about $1 trillion, they don't even -- most of this doesn't even trigger in to the democrats' plan until after the next election in 2013.
the only fair way to do it is take it ten years from there and it's always $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion on of a $2 trillion national budget for health care now. and then you add the public plan on to that or what i call the washington-controlled government plan, that's what's got people all over this country concerned because they know once they do that, you're going to get into all kind of other problems, including rationing that democrats hate to talk about, but that's what's going to happen. and our senior citizens are scared to death. plus, any taxpayer's got to be tremendously concerned because like i say we're going to triple the national debt even without health care reform, we're going to triple it in ten years under current budgetary approaches. >> liberman said he believes given the political climate, the deficit numbers, everyone should call a time-out and do this incrementally, pass a bill first
that deals with the biggest problems and the democratic party should prove that we are bending the health care cost curve, now you can trust us when we come back to do the other things like universal coverage. is that the way to go? >> well, we're not going to get an argument about bending the cost curve from me, because my state almost subsidizes the rest of the health care system because we're so efficient and the rest of the country delivers more inefficient care. but the bottom line is that health care costs, which right now are about 1/3 of our federal budget are going to double if we do nothing. so doing nothing and thinking that we're going to get out of this expense is not really an option. so coming to the table and saying how can we deliver lower cost health care is critical to the equation. and so i think getting true competition into the system and giving consumers choice is what the democrats and republicans should be joining ranks on. >> well, senator cantwell and i have worked on very important legislation together and i intend to work with her a lot further in the future. but the best way to get the
costs down, it seems to me -- and you made the point you have a pretty darn good states. i believe we ought to have 50-state laboratories testing all of these various health care things and we can pick and choose from the 50 states. we'll always have some states no matter what you do they're not going to do well. california is a good illustration, new york and new jersey, sometimes even texas on the chip bill didn't do as good of a job as they could. but having 50 state laborator s laboratories, which is what our founding fathers envisioned, we can pick and choose what works and doesn't work. and i think we've always been able to get together, just like teddy and i were able to get together. because teddy would come all the way to the center and in the case of the chip bill, came center right. he was pretty mad at me and the next day came down to me and said that's going to be one of the most important bills in history and i started to laugh at him and he realized -- >> call a quick time-out here.
when we come back, we'll continue our conversation with senators hatch and cantwell, including discussing the controversial decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate bush era cia interrogations. but first, another reflection on senator edward kennedy from a voice we rarely hear. steven breyer once worked for him up on capitol hill, now he's an associate justice to the u.s. supreme court. i talked to him exclusively at the memorial service in boston. >> i'm grateful because he helped me give something good that i have to give. he found that in me and let me help him help other people. there are millions and millions of people all over the country whom he tried to help and whom he did help. and when they see the ceremony, that will remind them that they're grateful too. and that's why you're seeing these thousands of people. my bones strong for p but even with calcium, vitamin d, and exercise, i still got osteoporosis. i never thought i could do more than stop my bone loss. then my doctor told me i could, with once-monthly boniva.
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he lived to be a grandfather. and knowing what my cousins have been through, i feel grateful that i have had my father as long as i did. he even taught me some of life's harder lessons, such as how to like republicans. >> we're back with republican senator orrin hatch and maria cantwell. that was teddy kennedy jr. speaking in boston yesterday. a remarkable speech by the son of senator kennedy. one last point before we move on this health care issue. and i want to show some of our viewers some of the sunday papers. he's gone home now. farewell to senator kennedy back home in boston. we've all talked about what he might have done, how he would negotiate. many say if this is to be done, if he's going to take the
president to step up and do more, senator kennedy talked at your convention last year about the torch being passed to barack obama. has the president failed the leadership test? or at least does he need to lead better now? >> no, i think the president timed it perfectly and coming in in a new administration, he wanted to show he's going to work with congress. and he said this is a priority and the president, i think, has basically held the discussion for members to come together to discuss what they'd like to see in legislation. and i know that he's been on the phone a lot and i'm sure when we return in session, he's going to play a very key role in all of this discussion. >> you've been around for many presidents. he allowed the house to write the stimulus bill, essentially to start. he's allowing congress to write the health care bill. is that a mistake in your view if he wants it done? >> well, i think sooner or later the president has to weigh in. i think he's left too much up to rahm emanuel and axelrod, who are brilliant people. but he's going to have to weigh
in. let me tell you, he's going to have to realize that you're not going to get this big broad democrat big spending bill. you're not going to get republican support for it. and if you do get republican support, you can do some really, really important things that we'll go down in history as a legacy for him. that's why senator kennedy was so important. because senator kennedy as senator cantwell has indicated really almost controlled the base of the democratic party. they knew he was the leading liberal and if he said this is what we have to do to do it, they'd cough and sputter and say, i guess if he wants to do it this way, we've got to do it. and i don't know of another democrat that has that kind of swat in the whole congress. >> let's move on to other issues. last week the president said back in january he didn't want to look back, the attorney general decided to look into the bush era cia tactics. you were among eight republicans who signed on to a letter to the attorney general saying you were
deeply concerned that this investigation could come. and you said such an investigation could have a number of serious consequences, not just for the honorable members of the intelligence community, but also the security of all americans. does this decision put more americans at risk? >> i sure think so. i'm the longest serving person on the senate intelligence committee. i've been through an awful lot. and they're making it so the people at the cia are afraid to do anything, and we don't want that situation. because when we get into another potential 9/11 and they're happening all the time, that's as much as i'm going to say about it. we want the toughest people we can have to handle the situation and don't want them thinking twice that they're going to get indicted or have to go through unpleasant experiences in congress or they're going to be mistreated. and especially, those who give legal opinions. legal opinions differ. sometimes, you know, conservatives will give stronger legal opinions than the most liberals. liberals sometimes give stronger
ones than most conservatives. but you know what? you want them always tested, always checked. but you don't want to say, well, these people were rotten in writing this opinion because just they were conservative, it was a conservative opinion. and frankly it's gone way too far. i'm not a big fan of special accounts or special prosecutors. they spend a lot of money, take a lot of time, get a lot of publicity, and in the end, less efficient government, and less efficient, especially in the cia, less efficient people who really aren't going to take any risks we need to have them take. >> let me let the democrat into the conversation. do you agree with that? it'll make cia agents, will it make them more timid? >> i look at this differently. i look at the threat that we face from terrorism as an asymmetrical threat, and it means we have to have the cooperation of the entire world community to help us. >> that means this investigation's necessary? >> i'm saying this investigation is very appropriate.
no one is above the law. and this is not a political process. this is a legal process. it's a legal process to find out whether the law was broken. and what we want to communicate to all our partners on the war on terror is that the united states is going to be for the rule of law. but in following that rule of law, we want their help in fighting terrorist suspects and working in a cooperative fashion. >> the former vice president of the united states in an interview airing this morning says this is playing politics, do you think it's a bad decision they made? or do you agree and go as far as saying they're deliberately playing politics with national security? >> i think it's both a bad decision and i think some politics are involved. i hate to think of that of the attorney general, i strongly supported him. but let me tell you something, i've traveled all over the world and let me just use france. france will say things publicly that look like they're against us, but behind the scenes, they're intelligence people and
work very closely with us, they know what we're doing, they know how important it is. and if our people are too timid to go out and do the things that have to be done because we have -- and i believe an oversight. that's what the intelligence committee should be all about. but if we're too timid, we're not going to be able to protect this country. and i've got to tell you. talk to the head of the cia, he's a liberal democrat who i know and trust and believed in. and i've got to tell you, he's very upset about what's going on here. and he knows it's going to be detrimental to the work that the cia has to do every day, day in and day out. >> we're out of time, but i want to give you the last word. >> this is not about being timid, this is about being effective, and if we want to be effective on the war on terrorism, we have to communicate with everyone we are going to follow the law and we want their help in bringing about justice for the american people and to make them secure. so this is a legal process. and i applaud the attorney general because i'm sure it's a tenuous issue to be the chief
senator kennedy helped redefine both national and massachusetts politics. and as you can see and hear, you want to go back in to his home state of massachusetts from the very beginning, health care was a major focus. >> too many of our senior citizens are being forced to choose. between neglecting their ailments or bei-- >> he can do more for massachusetts.
support the man who can help massachusetts. >> for a good stretch of his career, senator kennedy had an ally in the house of representatives, the late speaker tip o'neal. another irish catholic who enjoyed a good partisan fight, but on the big issues often worked for bipartisan progress. the late speaker's son, tommy o'neal was a kennedy friend and ally who recalls so many similarities and one big disagreement. >> the first memory of ted was a comment made by my dad that he was a young kid coming along with a silver spoon running on a name and wondered if he could ever make the bill. do the job, get elected, and then go beyond that to kind of carry on the tradition of the democratic family of the kennedies. >> your dad's no longer with us, but by the end, had ted passed his test? >> he sat in amazement for 28 years because he had been in government for 26 by the time he
had run for the first time and he sat in astonishment at the progress and the evolution of teddy in politics and government. >> well, a lot of people say that -- >> he became a great fan, by the way. >> a lot of people say that this is a generational passing, that people like your dad, the speaker, and teddy you know could go to the floor and they could this and that and the other thin, but at the end of the day, figure it out. >> there's a lot to that. and there are a lot of similarities between the two. both legislators, both had the ability to walk into a room, tell a joke, a good story, sing a song, make a friend and be bipartisan in order to proper and get legislation that would progress and go through. they both had a capability to get something done, as well. they both had other symmetry. the most important vote i heard ted kennedy say this in tape the other night was a vote me made against the war in iraq.
imagine that, over 47 years the most important vote that man cast was the vote against iraq. the most important vote tip o'neal ever had was leaving that range of men and women of congress and becoming the first regular in congress to vote against the war in vietnam. so a lot of similarities. both children of the new deal. and they both sat in congress both as legislators helping out people and that's what they thought the role of government was going to be. and i think in the end they became role models for the next generation of politicians to carry on. >> and it's been more than a half century since massachusetts has not had a senator kennedy. what happens? >> i think it gets filled in a whole different way. i think that there'll be a new role and a new kind of reinvention for john kerry who understands the responsibility that he's going to be welcomed with. i also think there's a new role for a senator either who will e be, you know, given that job by
the governor on an interim basis and some people come and run for it who will be -- i think we're pretty lucky, we have plenty of talent in this state as well as in our congressional delegation. somebody's going to come forth. and as ted kennedy grew, they'll grow in office, as well. >> what happens to the name? it's like the royalty of massachusetts. do you see the next generation stepping up? or is that now passing? >> i see the next generation absolutely stepping up. i think over the weekend we saw that generation look at the folks along the motorcade. the folks in washington, the appreciation that america has for the contribution, the men and women of that first kennedy generation gave this country and how they forced change in this country. i'd be amazed if they didn't take that and build on the platform they already have to make things better. >> what about your personal relationship with teddy?
i saw the picture of 1980 yesterday. take me back to some of that. >> i started off as simply the man that was going to run new england for teddy kennedy. and when i was first asked to take that job, ted kennedy was an overwhelming favorite to go on to become the president of the united states, and then we had the interview and a few other things happen and the role expanded a little bit. he became a troubleshooter around the country for ted and we became very close friends, actually. i went from being an advance man to one of the folks helping him out with the national campaign and his dream to become president. it was a lot of fond memories and frankly a lot of appreciation in the next generation of kennedys who have been friends of mine for years. >> there are some who boil it down to one word. >> i remember my dad advising him not to run because he thought it would come back to haunt him. i think what people tend to
forget in 1984, he was going to run again and i think my father again said please don't do it. it was more father son relationship at that point in their chemistry and relationship. kennedy called him a week after he had that conversation with hi dad, and his own children prevailed upon him and said don't do it. and he said this time you're going to win out, tip. >> how much did that stick with him? everybody says he went back and rededicated himself. do you think he was nagged by what could have been? >> you know, kennedy was a guy who always had a terrific sense of humor. if you were to ask him in his final days, would you have liked to have been the president of the united states? he would've said, are you kidding, of course? so in that sense, i think it nagged him. but through the reinvention process of beyond, i think he put his mind of one thing, the greatest u.s. senator in history of the senate and our time.
>> tommy o'neill there. he was a man of many passions. the relationship of two famous massachusetts brands, the kennedys and the red sox. you weren't always my favorite day. with all the pet hair in the air, i'd spend class preoccupied, bothered by itchy eyes. but now i have new zyrtec® itchy eye drops. it works fast, with just one drop, to relieve my itchy eyes from allergies for up to 12 hours. no other allergy itchy eye drop works faster or longer. which is good, 'cause there's a lotta paws to shake. with new zyrtec® itchy eye drops i can love the air™. (announcer) find it in the allergy aisle next to other zyrtec® products. that's why i use covergirl's simply ageless makeup with olay regenerist serum. a department store brand can glob up in lines and actually make you look older. simply ageless makes you look amazing. from olay and easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl.
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edward m. kennedy. to know him was to see his passion for politics and for policy but also for competition and sports. he kept close track of the celtics, the bruins, and the patriots. when he knew he had cancer, he wanted to walk one last time in the shadow of the green monster. right here you see along the massachusetts turnpike, this is fenway park, and when he knew he was ill, he wanted to come here and do this. you see his infectious smile throwing out the first pitch. opening day, april 7th. the manager of the red sox, hall of famer jim. he wanted to be there in fenway park in the shadow of the green monster. in this week's american dispatch, we decided to go there too, to trace the history of two storied brands. the red sox and the kennedys. >> you worked in washington as a
younger man involved in politics in the big debates of our time. did you run into senator kennedy? or you certainly knew of him? >> i did know of him and i got to know him as i got to know th during my time there. i got to see him in a personal context. i got to see him as the -- certainly as one of the senators, if not the senator of the kennedy/shriver extended family. i saw how close he was to so many of his nieces, nephews. was always impressed by the priority that he assigned to that. >> so now you're here. you're the president of the storied franchise. all politicians say they're fans. all politicians say i'm a fan, you ask them and you realize two, three questions in, they're not fans. was teddy kennedy a fan? >> he was a fan. his entire family were fans. again, the sons and daughters, nieces, nephews, there was an intensity about their connection
to boston and new england no matter where they lived. the red sox were a reflection of that connection. and yet ted was a fan. they are, as you well know, intensely competitive people. the red sox was an outlet for that competition as well as a tangible connection to boston and to new england. >> and go back in time to when this place was built and the family lineage goes on. >> that's true. the fenway park is the oldest and smallest ballpark in all of baseball. it was built in 1912. the first pitch at the very first game at fenway park was thrown out by honey fitz, the mayor. teddy's grandfather. so his connection goes back that far. this is a -- a picture of teddy and bobby and the patriarch joe sitting in the stands, way back when. probably the mid '60s here.
reinforces the notion that the kennedy family and the red sox and massachusetts, they all go together. ted kennedy went to baseball games here at fenway park for parts of eight decades. born in 1932. parts of eight decades. he knew the players. he knew the ballpark. he had a special relationship with the red sox and we're very, very proud of that. indeed, when we -- on opening day this year, we had senator kennedy here throwing out the first pitch and it was on the 97th anniversary. and we had an invitation out to him that we would like him to throw -- would have liked for him to throw out the first pitch in april of 2012. he joked that he's already had it on his calendar and he was saving that date. i'm glad we got him here on opening day this year. he was in fine spirits. very happy. he enjoyed himself immensely.
it was great to see him here in that setting. >> even when he knew of his sickness, he sent you a note saying he would try to be here? >> yes, that's right. we had formally invited him a couple years ago to join in the 100th anniversary of fenway park in 2012. this is in about 2007 or 2008. we wrote to him. after he was diagnosed he sent a letter back saying i told you i'd be there in 2012, and i will be there in 2012. so his spirit remains strong to the very end. and inspirational. >> you mentioned the competitiveness. this is great city, a place that's defined by its brands. the boston red sox are one of the brands of boston and massachusetts. the kennedy name has been a brand for some time, for more than a half century there was a senator kennedy from massachusetts. now that there isn't what does that mean? >> certainly means, i think, as lots of people have noted, that
an era has ended. many of us came into political awareness with the kennedy family, and their ascendancy. so it means the end of a political era. it means the end of a social or generational thing. on a more immediate level w respect to the red sox, it means the loss of a great fan and a great supporter. he was an american icon to be sure. but he was always a boston and a massachusetts guy. constituent services were always very important to him. if we had an issue, players had a problem, if there were charitable things we needed from the senator or the government, he was go-to guy for us. we were fortunate to have his -- the kind of passion and loyalty that he showed to every constituent given to the red sox as well. we will miss him. we'll miss his -- the joy he
brings. you know, when he walked into a room, he was larger than life. a big laugh. a big smile. a lot of joking. a lot of teasing. it's just that whole kennedy mystique was real. you saw it when you saw him. >> so many people have said of senator kennedy, he liked to give other people things they wanted. going to fenway park this week to see larry lucchino gave me a chance to take batting practice at fenway park. we want to say good-bye to our international audience, but up next for the united states, howard kurtz. - hello. - hi!
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